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Biden Administration To Introduce Stricter Measures To Enforce Oil Price Cap on Russia

It signifies a concerted effort by Western nations to clamp down on Russia’s attempts to evade international sanctions.

The Biden administration is set to unveil new measures aimed at increasing the cost of Russia’s attempts to bypass the price cap imposed on its oil exports nearly a year ago. The move comes as part of a series of actions to be announced on Thursday, focusing primarily on the fleet of ships Russia has illicitly assembled to transport and sell its oil and oil products above the price limits set by Western nations.

The policy, initiated in December 2022 by the United States, G7 allies, and Australia, restricted the purchase of Russian oil above $60 per barrel if it was shipped, insured, or financed by Western entities. The objective was to deprive Russia of crucial revenues, which were being used to support the country’s invasion of Ukraine, while ensuring a stable supply of oil for global consumers.

However, Russia found ways to circumvent these restrictions by seeking alternative means to ship, insure, and sell energy products above the imposed cap. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen highlighted a decrease in the effectiveness of the price cap, indicating that recent market prices for Russian oil reflected these evasive manoeuvres.

In response to Russia’s attempts to skirt the limitations, the Biden administration has been working on these new sanctions for several months. The upcoming measures will primarily target the clandestine fleet of ships that Russia has assembled, which has been instrumental in facilitating the unauthorised sale of oil and oil products above the stipulated price limits.

Yellen is expected to discuss the enforcement of the price cap with her G7 counterparts during their meeting in Marrakech this week, where the International Monetary Fund and World Bank are holding their annual meetings. She acknowledged that the policy had already significantly reduced Russian revenue, but also noted Russia’s substantial investment in creating alternative channels to export energy products.

These developments signify a concerted effort by the Western nations to clamp down on Russia’s attempts to evade international sanctions and ensure stricter enforcement of the oil price cap. The details of the new measures are anticipated to be unveiled during the official announcement on Thursday.

Kiki Garba

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